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The ALPINE-ALMA [C II] survey. Dust attenuation curves at z = 4.4–5.5

Boquien, Médéric and Buat, Véronique and Burgarella, Denis and Bardelli, Sandro and Béthermin, Matthieu and Faisst, Andreas and Ginolfi, Michele and Hathi, Nimish and Jones, Gareth and Koekemoer, Anton and Lemaux, Brian and Narayanan, Desika and Romano, Michael and Schaerer, Daniel and Vergani, Daniela and Zamorani, Giovanni and Zucca, Elena (2022) The ALPINE-ALMA [C II] survey. Dust attenuation curves at z = 4.4–5.5. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 663 . Art. No. A50. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202142537.

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Context. There is ample evidence that dust is already present in abundance at high redshift. However, given the faintness of distant galaxies in the optical and the near-infrared, the data are limited and the understanding of how the dust affects the emerging radiation of galaxies at very high redshift is still limited. Aims. Using the ALMA Large Program to INvestigate [C II] at Early times (ALPINE), our objective is to quantify the dust attenuation properties in galaxies at z = 4.4–5.5, particularly with regard to the shape of their attenuation curve. Methods. Using the CIGALE spectral energy distribution (SED) code, we modeled the stellar populations and their interactions with the dust to measure some of the physical properties of the ALPINE sample. We selected a subsample of 23 main-sequence galaxies requiring a detection in at least six bands in the rest-frame UV and optical, as well as in the dust continuum around 158 μm or the [C II] fine-structure line. The inclusion of this line is important for improving the constraints on the physical properties, while achieving a reasonably low uncertainty on the slope of the attenuation curves. Results. We find that the attenuation curves span a broad range of properties – from curves that are much steeper than the SMC extinction curve to those that are shallower than the starburst attenuation curve. The shape of the attenuation curves strongly depends on the V-band attenuation. Galaxies with the lowest attenuation also present the steepest curves. The steepness of such curves probably results from the combination of the intrinsic physical properties of the dust, the relative distribution of stars and dust in the interstellar medium, and the differential reddening, with an important fraction of the dust concentrated in star-forming regions. The broad range of attenuation curves found at z ∼ 5 shows that no single attenuation curve is appropriate for main-sequence galaxies. When SED modeling is not feasible, assuming a fixed curve can lead to large errors, for instance, in the interpretation and application of the IRX-β diagram. Conclusions. Considerable caution should be exercised when correcting high redshift galaxies for the presence of dust using the UV slope β as it can affect the estimation of both star formation rates and stellar mass even at low V-band attenuation due to the steepness of the attenuation curve. However, when SED modeling can be used, the impact of the choice of the attenuation curve on the star formation rate and the stellar mass is limited.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Boquien, Médéric0000-0003-0946-6176
Buat, Véronique0000-0003-3441-903X
Bardelli, Sandro0000-0002-8900-0298
Béthermin, Matthieu0000-0002-3915-2015
Faisst, Andreas0000-0002-9382-9832
Ginolfi, Michele0000-0002-9122-1700
Hathi, Nimish0000-0001-6145-5090
Jones, Gareth0000-0002-0267-9024
Koekemoer, Anton0000-0002-6610-2048
Lemaux, Brian0000-0002-1428-7036
Narayanan, Desika0000-0002-7064-4309
Romano, Michael0000-0002-9948-3916
Schaerer, Daniel0000-0001-7144-7182
Vergani, Daniela0000-0003-0898-2216
Zamorani, Giovanni0000-0002-2318-301X
Zucca, Elena0000-0002-5845-8132
Additional Information:© ESO 2022. Received: 27 October 2021 Accepted: 21 February 2022. We would like to thank the referee for their very insightful comments that we believe have helped clarify and improve our article. Médéric Boquien gratefully acknowledges support by the ANID BASAL project FB210003 and from the FONDECYT regular grants 1170618 and 1211000. D.N. acknowledges funding from the Space Telescope Science Institute via grant AR-15043.001. G.C.J. acknowledges ERC Advanced Grant 695671 “QUENCH” and support by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). This research made use of Astropy, ( a community-developed core Python package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration 2013, 2018).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (ANID)FB210003
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)1170618
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)1211000
European Research Council (ERC)695671
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: high-redshift
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220711-652666000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The ALPINE-ALMA [C II] survey. Dust attenuation curves at z = 4.4–5.5 Médéric Boquien, Véronique Buat, Denis Burgarella, Sandro Bardelli, Matthieu Béthermin, Andreas Faisst, Michele Ginolfi, Nimish Hathi, Gareth Jones, Anton Koekemoer, Brian Lemaux, Desika Narayanan, Michael Romano, Daniel Schaerer, Daniela Vergani, Giovanni Zamorani and Elena Zucca A&A, 663 (2022) A50 DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:115462
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:12 Jul 2022 15:45
Last Modified:22 Jul 2022 17:16

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